A group of European countries that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official currency, the euro. The EU's goal is to create a barrier-free trade zone and to enhance economic wealth by creating more efficiency within its marketplace.
The current formalized incarnation of the European Union was created in 1993 with 12 initial members. Since then, many additional countries have since joined. The EU has become one of the largest producers in the world, in terms of GDP, and the euro has maintained a competitive value against the U.S. dollar.
EU and non-EU members must agree to many legal requirements in order to trade with the EU ...view middle of the document...
It also checks that all the other parts of the EU are working fairly.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are elected every five years. Anyone over 18 from a member country may vote.
Council of the European Union
This is where the EU's big decisions are normally made.
It's like a school council, but instead of people from each year there are people from each country.
Who turns up depends on what the council is talking about. If they are talking about farms then the 25 ministers for farming would go along, one from the government of each country.
The European Commission
The European Commission does the day-to-day work of running the EU.
It does things like making sure that that the laws the European Parliament passes are used properly.
Every six months a different country gets the presidency of the EU. With 25 members the UK's turn only comes round every 12 and a half years.
These are the five big things the EU has set out to do.
1. Promote economic and social progress.
Help people earn enough money and get treated fairly.
2. Speak for the European Union on the international scene.
By working as a group the EU hopes that Europe will be listened to more by other countries.
3. Introduce European citizenship.
Anyone from a member state is a citizen of the EU and gets four special rights.
4. Develop Europe as an area of freedom, security and justice.
Help Europeans to live in safety, without the threat of war.
5. Maintain and build on established EU law.
Make laws that protect people rights in the member countries.
A lot of what the EU does is about bringing people in Europe closer together.
It tries to make it easier for Europeans to buy and sell things to each other. This is done by changing the rules that control trade.
It is also getting rid of controls that stop people from EU countries moving around freely inside the Union.
The changes have not always been popular in the UK.
The EU backs things like exchange visits that help ordinary Europeans to understand what they all have in common.
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
Founded: November 1, 1993Founders: Conrad, Joseph Bech,Johan Willem Beyen, MoreAwards: Nobel Peace Prize |
Member countries of the European Union
The EU was not always as big as it is today. When European countries started to cooperate economically in 1951, only Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United...